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The foreign minister of South Korea travels to Japan to discuss old disagreements

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English -  The new president of South Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol, aims to resolve old grudges and mend tense relations w...


Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English -  The new president of South Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol, aims to resolve old grudges and mend tense relations with Japan. Accordingly, foreign minister Park Jin left for Tokyo on Monday.

Relationships have been tense for a long time due to the painful effects of Japan's colonisation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. Disputes vary from export restrictions to forced labour during wartime, although both countries have showed willingness in mending fences.

Park will meet with Yoshimasa Hayashi later on Monday during his first visit to the Japanese capital since Yoon assumed office in May.

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Park promised to convey to the Japanese side Yoon's steadfast desire to strengthen ties between South Korea and Japan, as seen on television.

In order to secure better cooperation on matters like North Korea and China, the United States, which has different alliances with both nations, has been pressuring South Korea and Japan to improve their relations.

Even while there are worries that the passing of former Japanese premier Shinzo Abe may alter Japan's foreign policy goals, South Korean authorities are hopeful that the high-level visit will kick off negotiations to reach a resolution to the problems.

According to a senior official in charge of Japan policy, who spoke to Reuters last week, the trip seeks to "turn on the tap" for meaningful discussions on issues related to forced labour, which froze under Yoon's predecessor.

Officials from Japan agree that relations should be strengthened, but they look to Seoul for solutions to problems like South Korean court rulings seizing the assets of Japanese corporations convicted of underpaying some colonial-era labourers.

Tokyo has threatened harsh consequences if the orders are carried out, and the South Korean Supreme Court is anticipated to reach a final ruling over the liquidation of the assets in August or September.


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